A thrilling finish to a back-and-forth series has sent the Milwaukee Admirals into the Central Division finals.
Spencer Stastney scored with 26.8 seconds left to give Milwaukee a 2-1 victory over Manitoba in their winner-take-all Game 5 on Saturday night at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
The Admirals won on back-to-back nights to overcome a 2-1 series deficit, and will now take on Texas in the next round beginning Friday.
Game 5 appeared to be headed to overtime after Jansen Harkins scored the tying goal for the Moose with 1:57 left in regulation.
But in the waning seconds, two Manitoba skaters collided at center ice and Zach Sanford took off on a 2-on-1, finding the rookie Stastney — a native of nearby Mequon, Wis. — for the series-clinching goal.
Mark Jankowski scored on a breakaway at 11:24 of the second period, his first goal of the series for the Admirals.
Yaroslav Askarov (3-2) made 19 saves in the win. Oskari Salminen (2-2) finished with 31 stops for the Moose.
Central Division Semifinals (best-of-5)
C2-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C3-Manitoba Moose
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Milwaukee 6, MANITOBA 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 30 – MANITOBA 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 3 – Manitoba 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., May 5 – MILWAUKEE 5, Manitoba 3 | Recap
Game 5 – Sat., May 6 – MILWAUKEE 2, Manitoba 1